December 16, 2014 – (CNN) — Russian authorities are failing to protect gay people from persecution and are not prosecuting the perpetrators of a growing number of homophobic attacks, Human Rights Watch says in a new report.
Its report calls for a July 2013 anti-gay propaganda law to be repealed, saying many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people interviewed for the report had noticed an increase in persecution since last year.
The 2013 legislation bans “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations around minors.” This means the public discussion of gay rights and relationships, anywhere children might hear it, is prohibited. Russian and international rights groups have condemned it as highly discriminatory.
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Many of the LGBT interviewees for the report released Monday reported increased stigma, harassment and violence against them since 2013, the rights group says.
“The law effectively legalized discrimination against LGBT people and cast them as second-class citizens,” it says. “Instead of publicly denouncing anti-LGBT violence and rhetoric, Russia’s leadership has remained silent. In some cases public officials have engaged in explicit anti-LGBT hate speech.”…